Fairfield University student club raises money for purchase of defibrillator

A recent event supported public safety, while remembering the late son of an alumnus.

Image: Students with moneyThe John Taylor Babbitt Foundation (JTB) Heart Club at Fairfield University raised money for the purchase of an additional Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for the Department of Public Safety. The student-led group did so by holding its third annual 'Walk With Heart' on campus on Saturday, September 27, 2014, raising $2,400 in the process.

"We will be obtaining a new LIFEPAK 1000 Defibrillator for one of our patrol cars, which of course will accompany our officers when we respond to medical calls on campus," said John Ritchie, Assistant Director of Public Safety at Fairfield.

It's vital equipment to have on hand. A portable device, an AED works by sending an electric shock wave to the heart to try to restore a person's normal heart rhythm.

The JTB Foundation, a non-profit foundation, was established to prevent sudden cardiac death. It's named in honor of John Taylor Babbitt, who died at age 16 when his heart stopped during a basketball game at his church gym. His father, David, is a 1979 Fairfield University graduate.

Students at high schools and college campuses run JTB Heart Clubs, which contribute to the foundation mission by focusing on four goals: advocacy, education, defibrillators and fundraising. At Fairfield, Sean Donovan '11, who was John Babbitt's best friend from Chatham, New Jersey; Patrick McCahill, Jr. '12; and Cathleen Keating, helped found the Fairfield chapter several years ago. The Center for Faith and Public Life was key to its establishment. Sara Rasmussen '15, is its latest president. "We're very grateful to the fine young men and women at Fairfield University who have led the club and devote their time to it," said Joanne Babbitt, John's mother.

With the backdrop of a beautiful fall day, students, alumni, Public Safety officers, and other Fairfield University community members took part in 'Walk With Heart.' Proceeds from the event will be used to support the Fairfield University community and JTB Heart Club's goal to purchase additional AED units and sponsor on campus CPR/AED training classes.

"Having new and updated equipment allows us to serve our community more effectively and efficiently," said Mr. Ritchie. "Although we hope it will never been needed, the new AED will give us peace of mind. We are extremely grateful to the JTB Club for their kind donation."

Image: Members of the Fairfield University community took part in the JTB Heart Club's 'Walk With Heart' to purchase defibrillators and sponsor on campus CPR/AED training classes. [L-R] Undergraduate Sara Rasmussen '15, president of the JTB Heart Club, with Officer Charles Goodwin and Sergeant Rob Didato, both of Fairfield University's Department of Public Safety. Photo courtesy of Debbie McCahill '82.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 7, 2014

Vol. 47, No. 79

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